Hi Everyone ,
This is my second article , Thanks for the response on my first article on BF-109 . This is again going to be a german fighter from WW1 .
Albatros DVa is a piece of an art ,It just captivated my attention every-time I saw it . specially the fuselage has nice curved shape which makes it very aerodynamic . Every time you hear a word "WW1 fighter" image of this plane would pop up in my mind . I was looking for some plans online and came across this on pinterest .
Based on my previous experience I figured out that it can be converted to RC , considering the performance I was looking for power pack A is best suited for this model . I used https://www.imgonline.com.ua/eng/cut-photo-into-pieces-result.php to tool to cut the image into 4x4 to get around 31 " wing span .
I started with fuselage construction first , since there are multiple connecting parts I added oval shaped support in between each connection . I added oval shape connector first to one part with double foam sheet and then cut hole in the middle later , that way you will retain the strength in the design . Next I attached tail and the rudder and made sure they are aligned.
The next challenge was to build struts which would hold the upper wings and also the landing gears . I did some research by looking at original photos and videos to see how it actually looks . the upper wing is supported by this Z shape support if you look from the side . I used all wires to make it stable but you can make use of sticks as well . but wires gives you more rigidity in my experience . It is very important to make sure that both the wings are parallel to other and also aligned perfectly . both the wings are single piece of foam with no folds .
For upper wing I added couple of bends to make it curved and for lower wing I only added one bend . as you can see below .
Also I decided to make to 4 channel so , added ailerons as well and installed servos before attaching the wing . for the bottom wing I added a BBQ skewer in the middle for more strength since this area would take more impact while landing .
Landing gear is made out of wire in front and BBQ skewer on back for more support . I used 1" rubber wheels which is closer real once . Although they are not very helpful when landing in grass so you have to be gentle with landing .
The first thing you notice in Albatros is the engine which sticks out almost completely exposed . I looked up some old photos and videos to understand how to original engine looked like and came up with simple structure which looks kind of similar and easy to build . I decided to go with building 6 cylinders inline with 4 sheets of foam and then cut edges in an angle to make shape it into cylindrical shape . after attaching this to bettery hatch the next part is exhausts which gives authentic look to engine . I have used copper tubes because they are easier to bend and has some weight as well . Its important to add weight since tail section has some weight .
The engine assembly completely rest on the battery hatch also added couple of machine guns on side which acts as lock . I have added magnets to lock the hatch securely.
Another peculiarity of this airplane is a nose spinners , its literally cherry on top .I tried to find one online which could fit this model but ended up building a custom spinner . I started with a circular balsa base at back with some plastic sheets for strength. Then I used some insulation foam and attached whole thing to the motor and used it to carve the spinner like a potter's wheel . I kept sanding until I got desired shape and made sure the spinner is running at high RPM . then I removed foam spinner from the base and carved grooves for the prop . Then I installed prop and stuck back spinner on top .
Its important to make sure the spinner doesn't wobble in high RPM with prop on
After I was done with basic parts it was time to add some details to make it look more authentic . I added a radiator made out of card board mounted on top wing and a tiny windshield
there are numerous color schemes available for this plane online but i decided to go with red and beige . Finally I installed some wires in the wings and this is a final result
Its looks so beautiful , definitely you can also keep it as a show piece .
Maiden flight was ok but I realized that it was bit tail heavy so I added some hot glue in the nose near power pod and made sure the CG is between the two bends made on the top wing . Since its a slow flyer I would recommend flying in winds under 10 MPH . here are some specifications
Power pack A
prop : 6 X 3
Battery : 850 mAmps
here are some settings I used on my radio
Aileron rate : 50 % expo 30 %
elevator rate : 80 % expo 20 %
I hand launched it with 80% throttle in the wind , it feels under power at first but then slowly starts to climb .
Its a great slow flyer , really surprised with stability and performance .
I hope you enjoy building this and share your experience in the comments !!